Head to Toe: Intern Style

Close your eyes and picture this scenario: it’s the night before your first day at your summer internship. You have planned everything out in excruciating detail — you know exactly how long your commute is, where you can find the closest Starbucks to get your iced coffee fix before work and have stocked your “survival kit” with extra breath mints, bobby pins and band-aids. Then you realize that you have overlooked something very important: your first day of work ensemble.

Caught in this moment of crisis last night, I flashed back to 15 year old Maddie who painstakingly planned what to wear the first day of ninth grade a week in advance (okay, yeah I was pretty neurotic, but I meant well). Swap my flared, white jeans for anything business casual and the thoughts running through my head were almost identical to those of my adolescent self: what can I wear that shows my personality without being too out there? If I wear a shirt with cats printed on it, will it come across as playful or preschool? Is neon ever appropriate?

So for those of you faced with the same questions, spare yourself the worry! Below is my recipe for a foolproof first day of work outfit. And remember, it’s okay to stick with your trusty staples (e.g. the classic black pencil skirt, a neutral blouse) even if you feel like you look a little — dare I say — boring? On the first day, it’s better safe than sorry. Add a little pop, pattern or sparkle to satisfy your inner wild thing and leave the neon hot pants at home (that is unless you’re supposed to wear neon hot pants to your internship — coming from Las Vegas, you can never be too sure about these things).

What to Wear: On Your First Day of Work

Topshop sheer top / s.Oliver pencil skirt, $91 / Zara ballerina shoes / C. Wonder patent leather flat / MICHAEL Michael Kors handbag / Michael Kors bracelet jewelry / FOSSIL jewelry / Marc by Marc Jacobs stud earrings / Deepa Gurnani / Marc by Marc Jacobs / Jane Tran hair accessory

Whatever you decide to don on your first day, the takeaway is simple. The more comfortable you feel on the outside, the more confident you’ll feel on the inside — and that leaves an impression on employers far outlasting any piece of clothing or accessory.

More sartorial adventures to come.